Mattress Software Requirements

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My wife and I recently set up one of our spare bedrooms using a bed frame that had been handed down in my family. We didn’t have a full size mattress to put in it, so I ended up shopping for a mattress last weekend. Mattress shopping was easy. Mattress buying – much more complicated, and an example of software gone wrong.

After having selected a mattress, we began the checkout process. The sales rep looks at me sheepishly and says “We got new software last month. You’d think that I wouldn’t have to click the mouse a couple hundred times to sell you a mattress!”

Sure enough, the sales process was rough. It needed my personal information in 2 places. We couldn’t check on delivery dates until we’d finalized more of the sale. The sales person was visibly frustrated just trying to navigate the software.

This is obviously a classic example of software being built without feedback from the users. Now granted, there are probably lots of features in the software that the business owners wanted – prompts to suggestive sell upgraded warrantees, financing offers, etc. What was missing was the critical usability review from the people who would have to use the software every day, all day.

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